How To Monitor Your Sales Pipeline

https://www.flickr.com/photos/amerune/9294639633/in/photolist-faksxt-iRGu9R-aCMtoL-aCvF9K-aCykzU-5b134i-iRxYhJ-h6kxBh-aCvHLD-hFmd5z-iRGAAZ-nckRha-kXu6LL-28Kj4-brNRnd-iRHWj2-gLF3CX-iRHY6t-4sVWwv-61apb4-5c7y7v-bveXAF-iRLXHS-afyHku-8paNG7-28KgA-5zzsEq-5tRZQQ-8LKLpb-8PaGso-iRJFoi-7CbHcA-7KbqPq-7C7VtB-kUQL5C-bzabKk-bzaani-bmfies-cRkmSm-5btKCU-bmfmXY-bzacse-bmfodJ-bmfmjQ-bmNiUT-bzadk2-8Mo5mP-6h5jed-brNPD3-nyXsUX/lightbox/ I coach all my clients to ensure the foundations of their business are rock-solid, and to start monitoring the following:

  • Their Sales Pipeline
  • Cash Flow (Or Income & Expenditure)

Firstly I ask my clients to keep a simple record of their sales pipeline; that’s everybody who has enquired about using their services or buying a product from them. And then to keep a record of their ‘sales conversations’ with each person so that they know at all times where each prospect is in their sales funnel. To receive a copy of my Sales Pipeline Tracker, Sales Pipeline - General Template. Alternatively there are a variety of software packages available if your business is at the stage where you need to start using a more sophisticated CRM system.

So quite simply, a sales pipeline is a visual representation of your sales process where all opportunities are displayed, together with a record of which phase they are at in your sales cycle e.g. initial enquiry, meeting, quote/ estimate etc.

Why Should I Track My Sales Pipeline?

A Sales Pipeline Tracker tells you what sales you are forecasting, and you can then use this information to predict how much new business (and therefore the income you can expect to bring in during the months ahead. This enables you to forecast and monitor your cash flow. (Read my article ‘How To Monitor Cash Flow’ for further information, and a link to my Cash Flow Tracker).

An up to date sales pipeline means that you:

  • Have a record of everybody who is interested in using your services or buying your products.
  • Know where the business came from e.g. referral, website, social media so that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing activities.
  • Know at all times what action you need to take to move your clients/ customers through your sales cycle.
  • Know your conversion rates.
  • Know how long on average it takes to move a client/ customer through your sales cycle.
  • Can see which parts of your sales cycle are working better than others. For example you might be great at getting new leads, but find that few prospects go on to use your service after you’ve met with them. This means that you can focus on improving those aspects of your sales conversations that are working less well.

To receive a copy of my Sales Pipeline, Sales Pipeline - General Template (Please note that this is a simple spreadsheet which in many cases I’ve customised to meet the specific needs of my coaching clients).

Question:

Have you been monitoring your sales pipeline? Are there any aspects of the sales process you struggle with? Let me know in the comments section below, and I’ll address your questions in subsequent blog posts.